SHARJAH, 3nd April, 2016 (WAM) – Sharjah Research Academy (SRA) has concluded a four-day workshop entitled, “Biodiversity of the Arabian Peninsula and Its Conservation: A Multidisciplinary Approach”, which was attended by plant researchers and scientists from the UK, UAE, and various Arab states.


Professor Mufid Al Samerai, Senior Advisor at the Sharjah Research Academy, bookended the workshop with a word of thanks: “we thank all the supporters and people who made this event happen, we also thanks those who agreed to give a presentation about the biodiversity of their respective countries”


The workshop has been especially lauded by its participants for creating a platform for biodiversity specialists to network, exchange ideas, and generate new knowledge.


On the final day of the workshop, Professor Samerai held a presentation concerning the importance of indigenous seeds and reeds in the provision of low cost housing. As the UAE is one of the leaders in utilizing indigenous materials for housing, and conserving heritage and historic buildings using indigenous materials, the professor’s presentation acted as a conduit to share knowledge of sustainability with researchers from other parts of the world. The presentation struck a chord with many as it emphasized the crucial necessity of changing the perception of indigenous flora from ‘outdated and substandard’ to ‘increasingly useful’ for low cost housing.


Dr. Shahina A Ghazanfar, from the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom, commended the organizing team at the SRA for their hard work and “positive, professional attitude” that made it possible “to bring together all those with expertise in the state of flora conservation in their own countries to discuss all the aspects and possible solutions as a team.” The workshop has indeed brought together many like-minded individuals and has helped form stronger links between plant researchers from the UK, UAE and other Arab states, especially those who are early in their careers. This is especially significant to promote collaborative research in the field of biodiversity for a sustainable future in the Middle East.